Update on speaking endorsement

18 December 2020

This quick update refers to the support available for this important element of the amendments made to GCSE and International GCSE language assessments in summer 2021.

You're reminded that speaking endorsement applies to GCSEs in all languages and to our International GCSEs in Chinese, French, German and Spanish

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As confirmed in GCSE and International GCSE posts, the speaking endorsement criteria were finalised by Ofqual in November, 2020 and a link to their ‘Subject Level Conditions and Requirements’ documents was provided.

You can discover more on the speaking endorsement by visiting the ‘Summer 2021 Exams Support’ tab at the top of each of the relevant qualification pages on our website. From here, you’ll be able to access updated ‘Generic FAQs’ and a set of ‘Private and non-taught candidate FAQs’. There’s also a quick link to the criteria as well as useful exemplification of possible target-language grammatical structures at 'Pass', 'Merit' and 'Distinction' levels of for each of the fourten languages that we offer (International GCSE teachers can access these here).


Further support is available in the form of pre-recorded Subject Advisor briefings on ‘Getting to grips with GCSE speaking endorsement’ and ‘Getting to grips with speaking endorsement – International GCSE Chinese, French, German and Spanish’.

As you will see from the FAQs, all candidates (including private and non-taught candidates) must be offered an opportunity for some speaking assessment to facilitate speaking endorsement. This can be done with external tutors and remotely. Although our language qualifications are designed for taught learners, I’ve posted some support if you’re looking for specialist teachers to conduct speaking assessments in languages that are not taught at your school or college.

The Centre declaration form needs to be completed by the person assessing the students and responsible for determning the candidates' speaking endorsement levels. This has recently been uploaded to our website and you can find it via the following GCSE and International GCSE links.

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